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On The Surface

Posted on 23 Jul 2015 @ 3:35am by Commander C. Kos & Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant JG Perei

Mission: Answers
Location: Nestene IX
Timeline: MD 9 - 0900 hours

With the Tigris having landed successfully, Kos keyed open the runabout hatch. "Let's go take a look around."

The away team exited the small craft and looked around. The settlement, if one could call it that, was an assembly of small, decaying stone buildings. They dotted the sandy landscape for at least a kilometer in each direction. People milled about, conducting their regular business. No one seemed to have noticed or cared that the Starfleet ship had landed. Kos unholstered her tricorder and took some quick readings. "There are mines of some type nearby. Just over that dune bank," she said, pointing to the east. "They're active, based on the lifesign readings. Other than that, everyone is here in town."

Perei stood and stretched a bit before she prepared to leave. She gathered her bag and slung it on her back and slipped her tricorder open and took some readings.

"Which direction should we be headed?" Perei asked as she wondered if they would walkabout as a group or pairs or individuals.

Kos consulted her tricorder again. "We need to make rounds and talk to the locals. Fastest way to do that is to separate. Three pairs. Doctor, Braxus, head north. Reza, Perei, west. Walsh and I will go south." She closed her tricorder, but didn't holster it. "Engage the locals in conversation. Look for clues."

The slight breeze blew the ankle length robe around Walsh’s legs, flapping the loose fitting pants. It was a hot breeze, but it was better than the stifling heat alone. He stowed his phaser in its holster, then pulled the hood further over his head to keep any blowing sand out of his face. Walsh realized, with the next blow of wind, that his phaser was visible when the robe was flapping rather than wrapped around him. He untucked the short sleeved tunic so as to hide the phaser from first glances. After a few more seconds of settling himself, he walked over to where the Commander was standing and nodded. “Ready when you are.”

Jayla checked to make sure her expanded medkit- carrying in a leather messenger bag- was in tact and nodded her agreement. She, too, was as ready as she could be.

From a nearby vantage point, a cloaked figure had watched the runabout touch down. She'd never seen one before, but images of Federation starships had reached this planet once before. For years, she'd hoped this day would come, and she could only pray that the Federation would make a difference. She checked the cloth that covered her face, leaving only her green eyes exposed to the harsh desert conditions. Only a few minutes ago, she'd left the mine with a handful of others, having been released by the Syndicate until the morning. The sudden change in climate was enough to shock even the most seasoned.

She knew she couldn't just walk up to the Federation personnel who were not in uniform. It'd be a matter of time before the Syndicate took notice and decided to do something about it, even though their presence here was mostly within the mine. On the surface, there was nowhere to run or hide. Fear of death alone was enough to keep the locals in line.

But an unannounced starship resting on the planet surface would be enough to change their mind. Maybe this could somehow be worked into an advantage, though the window itself would be short...

She prepared to move to a different vantage point as a couple of the new arrivals began to walk her direction. A proper time and place to introduce herself would be presented shortly.

She felt a pair of firm hands grip each of her forearms. A scream formed at her mouth, but was quickly silenced as the muzzle of a disruptor was affixed to her throat. "Come with us," a gruff voice said, as they began to drag her away.

Jayla jumped at the tiny scream and whirled around in time to see a girl being half dragged away by a couple of thugs. At least, she assumed they were thugs. But, she didn't know what to do about it, really. They could be police officers and she may have just committed a crime. How to know? She had no idea. She glanced at the others, stress evident in her face as her mind warred within itself, unsure of what to do.

So much for the proper time... she cursed, thinking of a way to struggle against the brutes that carried her away. Her eyes darted back to the Starfleet personnel and was saddened to see only one had turned to look in her direction. Glancing downward, she saw that they were carelessly dragging her away and had failed to notice a cluster of rocks that they were rapidly approaching. Seizing the opportunity, she embraced the rough terrain, purposely losing her balance and temporarily disrupting their grip on her.

Running was not an option; she'd be shot without hesitation. Screaming would earn her the same reward. There was only one option before the brutes would reestablish their escort duty.

In an instant, she reached up and hastily removed the cloth that covered her face and head. She had barely finished when she felt a pair of hands dig into her upper arms and pull her up. She shook her head, letting her long blonde hair cascade down her shoulders and back and looked back to unobserving Starfleet team.

She had to let them know she was an oddity in this place; someone who needed not just attention but salvation as well.

She was human.

Terry had been standing next to Commander Kos when he noticed the doctor staring at something. He turned to see what was so intriguing that it kept her attention. He saw a person fall to the ground out of the grip of two brutes. Then, much to his surprise, he saw a long mane of blonde hair blowing in the wind. “Aw hell!” he shouted. “She’s a human! And she’s in trouble!”

Her brain processed what Walsh had said as she looked up. It didn't take long for Kos to find what the pilot, and apparently Kij, were watching. "Shit!" she said, her feet already moving. "Come on!"

Mackenzie had never been fond of running. She found no joy in it, unlike some people who saw it is cathartic, or zen-like. It was a means to an end; a form of locomotion faster than walking. When she was still playing soccer, she didn't mind the running. Same with field hockey. Something to do with the application of running to something not horribly boring.

She glanced over her shoulder to see if the other Black Hawk crew were following her.

It all happened faster than anyone could have foreseen. Though the foreigners were quick to intervene, the Syndicate were poised and ready. No sooner than the Away Team come to the rescue of the human woman did the brutes release from their grasp and into the protection of the Federation outsiders.

Both brutes, however, quickly raised their weapons at the Away Team, and they were quickly joined by a dozen armed others who immediately surrounded the team while three more took off for the runabout.

"Welcome!" said a voice from behind the Federation group. An Argrathi stepped forward, both hands behind his back. He had no need for weapons when his protectors had that all taken care of. "We've been expecting you."

~to be continued~

 

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